Delta State Child’s Rights Implementation Committee Raises Concern Over Children In Conflict With Existing Law; Proposes Amendments To Sections Of 2009 Child’s Rights Law

– By Patrick Ochei

The Delta State Child’s Rights Implementation Committee has raised the concern over the increasing spate of children in conflict with the law, adding that such was becoming too difficult to deal with at the implementation stage of the Committee’s activities.

The issue prominently came up in the meeting of the Committee on Tuesday 20th December, 2022, where a resolution was reached to write to the Ministry of Education to wade into the matter with a view to coming up with solutions to the menace as far as pupils and students are concerned.

The Chairman of the Committee and Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Women Affairs, Community and Social Development, Mrs. Kevwe Agas submitted that the situation shows a loss of authority on the part of the parents and teachers who are supposed to be in the forefront of moulding and mentoring these children.

She said that the Ministry of Education must be notified of the breakdown of discipline in most of the public schools across the state, with particular mention of the West-End Secondary School Asaba, whose students’ names had consistently been mentioned in cases of indiscipline, rascality and improper behaviours both in the school and outside the school.

The Chairman also said she had noticed that the Child’s Rights Law of the State needs amendment to enable the Committee discharge its functions effectively and in accordance with the prevailing best legal practices as far as Child Protection is concerned.

Her words, “With the law being amended, we will be able to effect changes in the composition of the Committee to bring in especially representatives of Heads of primary schools, principals of secondary schools and Parents/Teachers Associations among others”.

She affirmed that she would collate the needed information alongside the Committee’s lawyer to approach the State House of Assembly for possible amendment.

Meanwhile, reports on activities of the year were given by different Committee members and investigators on the numerous cases handled by them, including advocacies, arrests, prosecutions and majorly, the establishment of the Sexual Assault Referral Centre (SARC), in conjunction with the Ministry of Women Affairs, at the Asaba Specialist Hospital.

Whereas justice had been served in some of the cases, most are still on prosecution stages while some others were settled and dispensed with.

In a nutshell, the Committee resolved to continue with aggressive implementation of the law by interrogating every case of Child’s Rights infractions that comes to it, in addition to continuing with the advocacy initiative against child abuses.

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